Sure as Shootin’

A close up of the word certainty in a dictionary

I am always aware of the day within each week because I do certain things on each day, i.e. run on Monday, Wednesday & Friday; lift weights on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.  I always have trouble with holidays.  I guess it’s because I’m retired.  I know the significance of each holiday, but somehow, the importance of each are forgotten in the minutiae of daily life.  I think that is so sad.  This past Labor Day is an excellent example.  The people that labor each day are responsible for the things I enjoy and, yes, even for my monthly income.  If not for them I would not receive my monthly checks, or be able to take my wife out to dinner, or purchase new tires for my car.  I know it is very irresponsible for me to overlook the value of those fine people in my life.    I have pondered over what I can do to overcome my indifference and I have decided that several days before each holiday I will go to Wikipedia and research their origin  and the impact of each one.  For example: “The first observance of Labor Day is believed to have been a parade of 10,000 workers on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, organized by Peter J. McGuire, a Carpenters and Joiners Union secretary. By 1893, more than half the states were observing a ‘Labor Day’ on one day or another, and Congress passed a bill to establish a federal holiday in 1894. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill soon afterward, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.”   I have come to the conclusion that if I want something to be important I have to motivate myself.  I think I have found a way to do that.

On a conversation with my daughter last week she mentioned that she hasn’t taken a vacation in several years.  It seems her time off is usually because she is sick (flu, cold, bronchitis) or having to take care of business.  The time she has to relax is normally spent at home.  “Dadâ€, says she, “Next year I’m going on a cruise somewhere!â€.   I agree with her.  I think we all should look forward to something special each year.  When Jerilyn and I plan a trip I always enjoy the weeks before, anticipating the escape from daily life.   I remember as a young man in my 30’s, my ex-wife and I went to a lot of NASCAR races (Charlotte, Talladega, Daytona, etc).  About a week before we were to leave my left jaw would swell.  This happened about three times before I noticed it.  The next time it happened I went to the dentist.  Turns out, I had an low grade infection under one tooth and the excitement of the upcoming adventure aggravated it.  I took the prescribed antibiotics, had the tooth extracted and the problem went away.  I was always intrigued that looking forward to something could be so important to me.  It still does to this very day.  If you have nothing to look forward to, you will have nothing to look back on.

Sure as shootin’ is a phrase I used as a young boy.  Its meaning was that something definitely was going to happen.  I am, what was called years ago, a “Shade Tree Mechanicâ€.   I will work on practically anything, whether I know anything about it or not.  I guess I think I can apply common sense and figure out ‘most anything.  That usually works….up to a point.  That’s where the “Sure as shootin’ †thing works its way into my life.  The faucet on our kitchen sink was leaking and had been leaking for awhile.  I forewarned Jerilyn that I was not a plumber and I could possibly make the situation worse, as well as improve it.   Well, sure as shootin’ I made it worse.  I may as well have placed a grenade inside it (the faucet) and dove for cover.   Off we trek to Home Depot/Lowe’s to purchase a sparkling new one.  Fortunately, I installed it fairly quickly and in a couple of hours it was working, but with one minor leak. I tightened it a couple of times in the coming days and it still leaks.  I expect that when I am standing in front of Saint Peter that darn thing will still be leaking.

This is a touchy subject, but, the other day I read an article in a magazine that said the average person uses 57 sheets of toilet tissue paper per day.  That equates, according to the article, to 16 million trees per year.  Being the type of guy I am, I decided to check my usage over several days and, lo and behold, I averaged 17 tissues per day!   That’s 40 less per day than the average person uses.   What on earth could you guys/gals be doing  that require you to use that many tissues?    

Well, it’s the time of year when the lawnmower is lowered to the lowest setting  and the grass is cut almost even with the ground.  We then pull out our thatching rakes and begin the laborious task of scratching every inch of our yard that contains grass.  Normally, by the time we finished this project I have lost 10 pounds.  Next comes the chemical to kill the wiregrass, then the fertilizer and grass seed.  After that comes the watering that is necessary to get the grass started.   I have been watering the grass for several days now and noticed that some new sprouts are peeping up.  Now, if only we could get some rain.

I hope you’re enjoying whatever season it is in your part of the world.  Thanks for reading my monthly missive.

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To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere

without moving anything but your heart…..Phyllis Theroux